Is your preschooler ready for kindergarten? Let’s practice our skills to get ready to write.
The Texas Education Agency provides a list of skill domains to help determine if your child is ready for kindergarten. With these programs, we hope to make those standards a little easier to understand and share ways that you can help your child build those skills every day.
This post focuses on emergent literacy writing skills, a fancy way of talking about the skills we use when we start writing and understanding that words have meaning. These skills help us understand the rules that tell us how to record our thoughts in writing.
Early Literacy Connections
Practicing making the shapes of our letters helps your child move from writing scribbles to some letter-sound correspondence. As your child progresses, you’ll start seeing more letters that represent sounds. Recognizing letters also helps your child learn that letters represent the sounds in words. Putting letters in order helps your child understand that letters make words or parts of words.
Below is what you will need for our two activities:
|Writing Practice||Name Strands|
|– Copy paper|
– Craft sticks
– Craft tray and/or hard surface
– Shaving cream
|– Hole punch|
- Apply shaving cream to a tray or hard surface. The shaving cream should be thick enough to cover the surface, but not so thick that you can’t easily drag your finger through it to reveal the surface.
- Practice shaping letters using craft sticks or your fingers.
- Can you write the letter…? Practice writing specific letters, like the letters in your name.
- Can you copy this letter? Challenge your child to copy a letter that you show them.
- What letter makes this sound? Write the letter that makes a certain sound you give them.
- Do you know your ABCs? Try writing the alphabet in order or simple sight words.
- Make alphabet cards. Write out the letters, leaving room between each to cut them into small cards or shapes.
- Hole punch the top of each card.
- Find the letters that make up your child’s name.
- Put the letters in the correct order. Working together, talk about each one.
- String the letters together.
- Try a new challenge. What other words do you know how to spell? What words start with the same letters you used?
Encourage your child to explore writing often. Give plenty of opportunities to write – on paper, in sand, in shaving cream or anywhere. Ask your child questions: Can you write the letter A? Can you copy this letter? What letter makes this sound?
You can practice writing in different ways every day. Write your world. Help your child copy letters you find in books or posters around your home. Practice writing your name (or other words) by signing artwork, letters, or other creations. Start with scribbles and work up to legible letters.
Help your child explore letters. When looking for the letters to their name, ask about the sound each letter makes as you find it. Can you sound out your name? Describe each letter. Does it have one curve or two? Are there three lines that make this letter, or just one?
Eating the Alphabet: Fruit & Vegetables from A to Z
by Lois Ehlert
The Hidden Alphabet
by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
by Kevin Henkes